Depression Diary: Sick and Tired
Have you ever listened to some of Bill Cosby's old comedy routines? They are hilarious. This Bill Cosby skit on youtube is about grandparents. There is a part I still remember from all these years about him talking about his mother using the term "sick and tired" and how the word tired always followed the word sick. Watch the whole thing...it is well worth it and that part is near the end.
It is true isn't it? Tired usually does follow Sick.
Sick and tired can mean so many things:
I am sick and tired of this situation.
I am sick and tired of depression.
One can be sick and tired of their job, people, and endless frustrations.
The phrase can also mean that one is physically sick and also fatigued.
It can also mean that you are mentally unwell and tired.
Or it can mean all of the above at once. In that case you are in very bad shape indeed.
Today I am sick with a cold/virus and tired (my body is fatigued).
But I feel mentally well.
What are the chances of this happening?
I don't get sick like this very often. Yet it seems when I do, I always feel pretty good emotionally. I am not sure why. Maybe it is because my mind slows down and it can't race at its usual speed. I feel insulated by a fuzzy brain. My edges aren't as sharp. I can eat comfort foods. I can watch bad TV and get comfy under a warm quilt and this is all condoned.
When you have a medical illness, even a cold, people understand your need for rest. Because you are sick and tired.
But if you say you are depressed and tired, well it is looked upon differently isn't it?
"I just want to sleep...I am really depressed."
Undoubtedly some well meaning loved one will rip the covers down and entice you to get up and even socialize with others because it will "do you some good."
Nobody brings you chicken soup when you are depressed and tired. But if you have a cold...comfort foods may be given.
Strange isn't it?
When I was a little girl I remember having chicken pox. I was living in my grandmother's house and it is like the whole world stopped. I...who was mostly insignificant...was suddenly the center of attention. My mother would rub pink lotion on my scabs. I was brought food in bed. One of my school friends dropped off my homework and my teacher wrote a note wishing me to get well.
But if I was depressed as a child this was not so understood. "What are you crying about? Nothing is wrong." Sadness was something to hide unless there was some concrete reason that you could show. No wonder depression is so invisible. Nobody can peer inside your brain and see the pain. And if you are tired along with feeling depressed it just doesn't make sense to most people.
Looking back I think that my cutting as a teen and young adult was a way to make my pain visible. Those red lines and blood were like flags to announce my existence. I am here. I am in pain. See? It made my depression real and tangible in such a dramatic way. Blood is our life force. But when we see it, it signals a warning that something is wrong.
My same mother who had known what to do with me when I had chicken pox had no idea what to do when I showed her my cut wrist one day. I can't say I blame her. What does one do? How should others react to violence inflicted upon oneself? My mother did not understand. She missed my message entirely.
Sometimes you get "sick and tired" of explaining depression and so you fall silent. You hope that someone looks behind the facade and reaches for your hand to help.
And there are time when you get sick and tired of being...sick and tired.
Now go back and watch the Bill Cosby video. Hopefully it will make you feel less sick and tired even for a few minutes. It is a small emotional respite for the weary.
If any of you are feeling unwell today be kind to yourself. Rest if you need to. Give yourself the nurturance you need to recover.
Of course I would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the phrase, "sick and tired"? Do you feel this way with your depression? Anyone out there dealing with chronic illness in addition to your depression? Tell us about it. We are listening.